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It’s official; the LeBron James era in Cleveland is officially over. James announced last night on ESPN’s one hour special “The Decision” that he plans on joining Dwyane Wade and Chris Bosh down in Miami. It also signifies one of the largest off-seasons in American sports history. By now we’ve all witnessed the drama and frustration that the one-hour program has caused amongst Cleveland fans. True Cavalier fans are dumbfounded, heartbroken, pissed, or a combination of all three. Many have never experienced their teams accomplish a championship.
It’s time to move on Cleveland, which means it’s time to start looking for a new face for your city. In my opinion, the best place to start is with Josh Cribbs of the Cleveland Browns. This is not to say that the Cavaliers are done with, but a few losing seasons might be inevitable before things start to look up again. It would be the first time a kick return specialist would probably ever be considered a city hero. However, for Cleveland and her fans, they desperately need someone to turn to.
The Cleveland Browns themselves have also made large strides at becoming a relevant football team once again. The organization has shown commitment towards the fans of Cleveland by hiring new coaches, staff, and front office management. The team also began the Mike Holmgren era by officially hiring him as Browns President and manager of football operations; things aren’t all doom and gloom in Cleveland.
Josh Cribbs had a monster return year for the Cleveland Browns in 2009 by returning 38 punts for 452 yards with 1 touchdown and returning 39 kicks for 1542 yards and 3 touchdowns. It’s safe to say Cribbs has become a fan favorite. But at the end of the 2009 season, the relationship between the Browns and Cribbs was rocky; negotiations of a new contract extension weren’t going as well as Clevelanders had hoped. Their star return man looked as if he might slip away. It worsened when in January of 2010 Cribbs cleaned out his locker and told reporters he was intent on leaving the final three years of his contract. However, in February, Cribbs’ agent said negotiations with the Browns were going well and that a new contract was in the works. Cribbs signed a 3 year 20 million dollar deal on March 5th, 2010.
This event could have solely saved the face of Cleveland sports and made Cribbs the city's next fan hero, looking back on it now the day after LeBron jumped ship. I really don’t condone what James did. I thought the hype and announcement of his one hour special was a slap in the face to the Cavaliers organization and Cleveland fans. LeBron wants to win, of course, and he could have still easily done that right there in Cleveland. But instead, he is going to ringchase, and that’s his right. But, I’m saying Cleveland is in for something special. And it starts with Cribbs and the Holmgren era Cleveland Browns.